Shirin Jaafari


The World

Shirin Jaafari is a reporter for The World focusing on the Middle East. She has covered conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine. Her reporting focuses on current events, politics, conflict and human rights. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Harvard’s Extension School. Before joining The World, Shirin worked for the BBC in Washington, DC. Shirin was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists in 2009 and she received an honorable mention from the Gracie Award in 2022 for her coverage of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.When not filing for radio, she can be found hiking and camping in the mountains.You can find her on Twitter @Shirinj.

boy in his room playing guitar

His stepfather took him to Syria in 2014. His ordeal had just begun.

Shadow of ISIS

When ISIS was in power, between 2014 and 2019, the terrorist group recruited and trained children to take part in its fight. Some were brought to Syria by their parents. Others were born there. These children became part of the global terrorist movement. And today, five years since the group was defeated, hundreds of these minors and adolescents remain detained in Syria.

Wafaa Mustafa was married to American ISIS fighter Russell Dennison.

‘We have no future’: A Syrian woman speaks about her life with an American ISIS member

Shadow of ISIS

‘I have to work to help my family’: Child laborers in Raqqa face dangerous conditions

Shadow of ISIS
Gaza Strip as seen from the window of the Jordanian cargo plane carrying aid.

The view over Gaza onboard a Jordanian aid plane

Israel-Hamas war
shepherd with photo

Oil refineries in northeastern Syria are sickening people and polluting the environment

Shadow of ISIS
woman in market

Residents in northeastern Syria react to recent attacks on US bases

Shadow of ISIS

About 900 American forces stationed in Northeast Syria have been attacked by militia forces in neighboring Iraq. The Americans act as a deterrence against ISIS and Turkey, both of which consider the Kurds in northeast Syria as their enemy. The residents in this area are on edge about the recent militia attacks and the possibility of a US withdrawal.

A 9th-century recipe from a 10th-century cookbook from Baghdad, updated for the modern diner by renowned chef, cookbook author and restaurateur Najmieh Batmanglij.

‘Dining with the Sultan’: A unique exhibit explores the fine art of feasting in historic Islamic lands


A new exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art takes visitors on a journey to explore food and art through the Middle East and beyond. It includes recipes by an Iranian American chef dating back to 10th-century Baghdad and artwork influenced by different cultures.

Relatives attend the funeral of Palestinians who were killed in Israeli airstrikes that hit a church, in Gaza City, Oct. 20, 2023.

Christians in Gaza fear for their tiny community amid strikes on churches

Israel-Hamas war

Christians make up about 1,000 of the roughly 2 million people in Gaza but they have deep connections to the land. So far, 2% of the Christian population has been killed; and members of the community worry this could be the end of Christian presence in Gaza.

tribal leader

As Israel-Hamas war continues, there are signs of growing sympathy for Hamas in neighboring Jordan 

Israel-Hamas war

The war in Gaza has entered its third month. In neighboring Jordan, the suffering in Gaza has led to a rise in an expression of support for Hamas. Many people in Jordan are Palestinians whose ancestors fled or were driven from what is now Israel. Hamas, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the US, doesn’t have an official representation in Jordan. But some tribal leaders are saying it’s time it did.

Men sit at a cafe at the Baqa'a refugee camp, north of the capital Amman, Dec. 12, 2023.

Stateless Palestinians in Jordan struggle to make a future

Israel-Hamas war

Palestinian refugees from Gaza live in a state of limbo in Jordan. Despite having lived in the country for decades — and even being born there — Jordan hasn’t granted them citizenship. The World’s Shirin Jaafari reports from Amman, Jordan.